WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — A Kansas boy is seeing the light at the end of the tunnel after what will be over a five-year battle against cancer.
Grit was only two months old when his parents noticed that he had flu-like symptoms, spiked a fever, was dehydrated and did not have a wet diaper for more than a day.
Knowing something was wrong, Grit’s parents took him to their local pediatric hospital. From there, Grit was transferred to Children’s Mercy Kansas City. It was there that he would be diagnosed with embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma. He would then be taken to St. Jude for treatment.
According to the National Cancer Institute, there are four types of rhabdomyosarcoma, or a type of soft tissue sarcoma in children. Grit was diagnosed with the embryonal type, which occurs most often in the head and neck area or in the genital or urinary organs, but can occur anywhere in the body. It is the most common type of rhabdomyosarcoma.
“That was discovered in his bladder and prostate. It was about the size of a softball,” said Grit’s dad, Nolan.
Grit and his parents would spend Christmas of 2017 in the hospital.
The next month, they would move to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee.
The first Monday after their arrival, Grit began treatment.
“They do a really good job of putting you at ease right off the bat. You get in there, somebody meets you at the door, and they walk you to where you need to be, and there’s always a smile and a helping hand,” Nolan said. “Everyone is so kind, and they let you know that they’ve got a plan for everything and they’re gonna take care of all your needs. All you have to do is worry about being a parent and taking care of your child and making them as happy and as comfortable as humanly possible.”
There were many trials and tribulations in Grit’s battle against cancer.
“We were on what’s called RMS13, so that was rhabdomyosarcoma 13. We were on that for about three months. That particular treatment cycle did not work. The tumor actually grew. They put us on a different clinical study that had about five different drugs, really hardcore chemo for two days a week every week, that did not shrink the tumor. But, it slowed it down, so at that point, they had decided to remove the tumor, the bladder and the prostate at the same time. After that, we started a similar chemo. They just kind of mixed the drugs in, worked,” said Nolan.
Grit would have no evidence of the disease until it was time for his one-year check-up.
“We go in for a year check-up, where we’re thinking, ‘Hey, we’re not, we’re on the downhill side of this.’ It was January of 2019, and it had spread to his lung, and it was about a golf ball size tumor,” Nolan said.
Grit would then start another round of chemotherapy.
“It didn’t shrink the tumor again, but it … kept it from growing. So, they removed it. We stayed on that treatment, and we’ve had no evidence of disease since. We were on that for two years,” said Nolan.
Grit will be five in September.
KSN has proudly teamed up with St. Jude in the fight against childhood cancer. During our seventh annual St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway, our mission is to raise over $1,400,000 for the kids of St. Jude.
Now through Wednesday, May 25, when you buy a St. Jude Dream Home ticket, you can be entered to win a $2,500 gift card.
Tickets will stop being sold on Wednesday, June 1, or when they sell out.